Lorne arrived in Hawaii the morning of July 16th, 1941. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks and immediately fell into the routine of Military life on Hawaii.
“I’ve finally arrived and there is so much to tell you about that I shall probably miss half of it before I finish this letter.”
“After a lot of confusion, we finally sailed on Friday, the 11th at about 5:00 pm and it was a queer feeling sailing out of San Francisco harbor under the Golden Gate Bridge toward the setting sun.
The Mariposa, the ship upon which we sailed, is the finest thing I could ever imagine. Although the government only paid $125 for my first class passage, the Matson Co. which runs the ship may shift you at their convenience and I was assigned about a $300 stateroom all to myself. Bette Davis, the screen actress, occupied the room next to mine the previous voyage.”
“We finally awoke one morning to find ourselves off Diamond Head, the big headland which you must round to reach Honolulu. Right there I became very much impressed with Hawaii, the green hills and mountains, palm trees, blue water, clouds, everything. And when the ship reached the dock and a band on shore began playing some of these sad Hawaiian songs I almost cried.
As we got off the ship we were met by an officer of our regiment and ‘leis’ were placed about our necks. There are flowers, flowers everywhere. Gardenias are 25¢ a dozen but eggs are 65¢ a dozen.”
“They have a very fine custom here at Schofield. Everytime anyone arrives or departs they have an ‘Aloha’ party, dinner and dance at the Officers Club and it’s really all very nice what with everyone in formal clothes and ‘leis’ about the necks of the honored guests.
Of course the formal clothes angle is not very different after all because an officer or officer’s lady just cannot be seen after 5:00 pm unless they are in formal clothes. So the first day I rushed down and bought tuxedo trousers, dinner coat, bow tie, stiff shirt, black shoes, studs, etc. and now I look like the rest. “
“The island is really on a war footing. Everything is in readiness and for all practical purposes we might just as well be at war from this viewpoint. Although I think the people here are less excited about the possibility of war than those back on the mainland.”
“The housing situation here is impossible to describe. There is absolutely nothing to be had at less than $100 a month or up. If Milly and Susan come, I am going to put them in a room in Honolulu and hope that we can get something on the post. It’s impossible for me to live in Honolulu without transportation but I really want them to come because it will be bad here without them.